Ivan Rakitic insists he is ‘happy’ at Barcelona and has learned to ignore transfer speculation and talk surrounding his future.
Last month, the front page of Seville-based Estadio Deportivo, as cited by Diario Sport, reports how it is a case of ‘Sevilla or nothing’ for the central midfielder, who captained the club to the 2014 Europa League title.
The Croatian international’s deal runs out at the Camp Nou in the summer of 2021 and his preference is for a return to the Andalusian club, whom he captained to the Europa League title in 2014.
The player’s wife is a native of Seville – the two met when he joined the club from Schalke – and he is said to be keen to return the city.
Meanwhile, Villarreal president Fernando Roig told Cadena Cope’s El Partidazo programme, as cited by Diario Sport: “I like him a lot as a footballer, if he wants to come to Villarreal, we are here.”
“I’ve got used to the speculation a bit. I’ve been here six years now so I’ve had six years of this sort of thing,” he told Sky Germany in quotes translated by ESPN. “I have to try to understand it, to remember that football is not just a sport. There is a bit more to it. We know that, we have to try to understand it – you have a laugh about it sometimes.
“The main thing is that I feel good and I am getting good feedback from the manager and the club. I’ve still got a contract, when I sign a contract I always intend to fulfil it, and if that cannot happen for any reason, then we’ll sit down together and talk about it, but for the moment, I am very happy here and I am thinking about other stuff.”
The 31-year-old has clocked up 298 appearances for Barcelona since his switch from Seville in the summer of 2014 and he has won a plethora of trophies – including four La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey trophies and the 2015 Champions League title.
The Croat has been consistently linked with a move away from the Camp Nou this season, despite the player himself previously stating that he wished to remain at the club.